Nigeria, one of Africa’s worst governed countries – Mo Ibrahim Governance Index

The report says poverty and unemployment are growing despite government’s claim of a robust economy

Nigeria has been rated one of the worst governed countries in Africa based on the 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance [IIAG], which was released on Monday.

In the report, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, Nigeria is rated 45.8 per cent lower than the African average (51.5 per cent) and ranked 37th out of 52 in the overall governance scale.
The country scored lower than the regional average for West Africa which stands at 52.2 percent and ranked 12th out of 15 in the region.

While Nigeria got the damning rating by the IIAG, Mauritius is adjudged the best governed country in Africa, with 81.7 per cent, followed by Cape Verde, with 76.6 percent.

IIAG is sponsored by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, MIF, a non-grant making organisation committed to defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa.

It presents annual assessments of the quality of governance in African countries. It also provides the framework for citizens, governments, institutions and the private sector to assess accurately the delivery of public goods and services, and policy outcomes, across the continent.

Other countries that made it to the top of the list included Botswana which is rated the third best governed country in the continent with 76.2 percent and South Africa which comes fourth with 73.3 percent.

Ghana is rated 7th; Rwanda 11th; Benin Republic 18th; Egypt 26th; Mali 28th; Niger, 29th; Liberia; 31st; Cameroun 34th and Togo 36th; all ahead of far more endowed Nigeria.

With a population of 173.6 million and population growth rate pegged at 2.8 percent, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, is put at $3013.3 USD, while inflation and unemployment rates stand at 8.5 percent and 13.7 percent, respectively.

Nigeria also received appalling ratings in such categories such as safety and the rule of law where it is rated 44th with 38.1 per cent, 32nd in the rule of law with 41.0 percent and 30th in accountability with 36.6 percent.

The country got its lowest rating in personal safety where it is ranked 49th with 16.5 per cent and second lowest in national security where it is ranked 48th with 58.2 per cent.

Under participation and human rights, the country is rated 26th with 46.9 per cent, 31th on sustainable economic opportunity with 43.3 per cent and 34th in human development with 53.0 per cent.

The Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim said the 2014 IIAG has revealed discrepancies in governance performance between countries and within the four conceptual categories.

“More than ever, these discrepancies call for an Afro-realist approach, which tempers historical Afro-pessimism and current Afro-optimism,” Mr. Ibrahim said.

To have a true grasp of African realities, he argued that one must reject the “one-size-fits-all” attitude, which he said, reduces the continent geographically or governance conceptually, in favour of a more granular approach.